I’m a 17 year-old teen guy and I’ve been doing some research on trying to get “lean” or just generally getting fit. Currently I have a basic model based on a single plan, but I wanted some suggestions from people who know this stuff through personal experience or even better a coach. I'm doing this all at home, and aim to get a low body fat. I should also add, I'm a bit fat on the belly, my chest needs working, and the rest of my body is skinny.

Here's the workout I'm currently doing:

- Jumping Jack 30 
– Pushups 25
– Situps 25 
– Plank 60s 
– Squat 25 
– Burpee 30


- Squat Press 20
– Side plank 30s each side
– Pushups 25
– Situps 35
– Jumping Jack 30
– Plank 60s
– Squat press 20
– Burpee 30


- Superman 5

How effective is this workout, if not, what do I need to change? Roughly, if possible how many calories does it burn?

3 Answers 3


There's a very common misconception here. Many people think that certain types of exercise will give you one body shape or the other. The reasoning is (more or less explicitly), that since power lifters are bulky, working out like a power lifter will make you bulky, and since dancers are fit and lean, "working out" like a dancer will make you fit and lean. Similarly, many people think that martial arts will make you look shredded, eventhough the shreddedness is a consequence of the weight class-system in martial arts competitions. This is totally wrong. If you workout like a power lifters but restrict (instead of increase) your caloric intake, you will end up shredded. Similarly if you train like a dancer but eat too much you will be fat but with good coordination and functional strength.

In reality, there are only two things you can change. Muscle volume (i.e. the thickness of your muscles) and fat mass. For most people, the best way towards a lean body shape is heavy weight lifting and restricting your caloric intake. The schedule you wrote down will certainly be good for you, but it won't make you lean, it will give you more muscular endurance and some more volume, that's it.

  • So you're saying that it will help muscular development, but in order to "look" lean or lose fat, I need to restrict my caloric intake?
    – Souljacker
    Jul 17, 2015 at 7:42
  • If you want to look lean, you have to have a low body fat percentage, to lose fat, you need to consume fewer calories than you use. As I said, there are only two variables here, muscle volume and fat volume, there is not "leanness" of muscles or anything like that.
    – Mårten
    Jul 17, 2015 at 8:14
  • 1
    @Souljacker - When trying to get lean, strict attention to calories is the most important thing you can do.
    – JohnP
    Jul 27, 2015 at 19:53

If you want to lose belly fat, then I recommend doing some more cardio (some form of running). However, in order to get lean, this workout seems just fine if you stay committed. If you are looking to add more muscle mass, try adding some more free weights in there. Good luck!

  • It would work for building muscle but not exactly for shedding fat?
    – Souljacker
    Jul 16, 2015 at 13:56
  • Depending on your goals, the workout could be sufficient. I you are more bent on losing weight/cutting fat than building muscle, then I would add more cardio. For instance, either add running or up the number of jumping jacks. This will target belly fat more effectively. Currently your workout is more geared toward building muscle.
    – SKala
    Jul 16, 2015 at 14:01
  • Ok thanks, I think I'll up the number of jumping jacks and add some running. As long as I can hit two birds with one stone here (burn fat and win muscle) :D
    – Souljacker
    Jul 16, 2015 at 14:48
  • 1
    Ok good luck, just remember to not slack off on cardio as it is a common mistake! If I answered your question, feel free to accept the answer anytime:)
    – SKala
    Jul 16, 2015 at 14:50

As others have said, this looks like a reasonable routine.


I would say that it looks like you're halfway to doing circuit-training. Have you thought of going to a class for a few weeks? It will be hard at first, but it'll certainly help with the motivation as just doing this sort of thing at home on your own can be a grind.

Besides, going to some lessons will also help to give you some more ideas for exercises to add to your own routine too and also give you some pointers on areas of your fitness that need more work than others.

Hope this helps.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.